Last weekend our local record store Freakbeat Records had a massive sale, and I picked up some serious goods. For $5 I got the film Shine A Light (AWESOME live footage of the Rolling Stones, directed by Martin Scorsese), and for another $5 I got an LP of Ustad Vilayat Khan-Sahib and Imrat Khan-Sahib, circa 1967:
Brief(?) explanation of why this is so important to me: Vilayat Khan is one of the greatest sitarists in history, part of a musical dynasty that dates back to the 16th century (he is also my sitar teacher’s father, so in a way I am a very small branch of this incredible gharana whose members I have nothing but the greatest respect for). Vilayat Khan-Sahib’s brother Imrat Khan is one of the last great masters of surbahar, or bass sitar, an instrument that has largely died out in the past few decades. It’s already hard to find decent recordings of surbahar, which is a fascinating instrument to me…but it’s even harder to find recordings of Vilayat and Imrat Khan playing together, because they had a huge falling out and didn’t speak to each other for years. So not only is it a rare recording, it’s even more rare on vinyl (I’ve looked it up and found a few CD versions and downloads, but only two LPs on eBay, selling for about $50). Thanks to Freakbeat, I got it for 5 bucks, and who knows if I ever would have found it again!
Vilayat Khan (center) and Hidayat Khan performing Rageshree. So fun to watch Vijay Ghate, I love his expressions! Also, this is the rag I’m currently learning, so I was really excited to find this. :)
Imrat Khan, surbahar. Video quality isn’t that great, but a beautiful performance!